He’s fought the best, he’s beaten the best. He’s tasted the sweet nectar of victory and swallowed the bitter pill of defeat. He is Rodrigo Nogueira and he is still very hungry.
His physical prime is behind him at 36-years old and as time trickles away, the peak years fade into the distance. Yet, despite the inevitable physical decline that befalls all of us, the wisdom and intelligence gained from experience is a valuable substitute.
I’ve watched Nogueira from his days in Pride to the UFC. I’ve seen the years of battle manifest themselves as scars and a battered face. But like a war horse, he’ll keep going head on into the battles until he can no longer stand. Frank Mir ended Nogueira’s fight at UFC 140 by breaking his arm with a kimura. Nogueira had to undergo surgery on his arm; in the past Nogueira has had surgery on his knees and elbows and has had a couple of bouts with Staph Infection.
I often wonder if Nogueira has had doubts about his own abilities and whether or not he could keep going the same pace as the younger or top-tier fighters. At UFC 153, pitting the veteran Nogueira against the rising young prospect Dave Herman could not have been more exciting. Nogueira’s victory meant that he can still cut it with the young guns, while Herman’s meant that he could potentially be the next big name in the UFC.
Fortunately, this was not the case for Nogueira. Nogueira once again displayed his mastery of the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, by tapping the BJJ trash talker in the second round via an arm bar. Nogueira and his fellow countrymen were ecstatic for his victory.
Nogueira wishes for many more fights in his future.
“I can still fight. I feel amazing and I’m still hungry, I feel good physically. I’m happy to be a part of the co-main event in Brazil and I want to be back fighting in Brazil next year or anywhere UFC president Dana White puts me.”
Not only does he wish to continue his career, he commented on how he wants to take on the top fighters.
“I want to fight a Top-10 guy. I want to fight the top guys in the UFC.”
Though his body is damaged from years in the ring and numerous surgeries doing what it can to rectify the damage, it’s clear that his spirit is still in the fight. I can’t wait to see how the future unfolds for this war horse.